2018 COASTSWEEP Cleanup Summary

Find an overview of the 2018 beach cleanup organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Each year, CZM compiles data on the COASTSWEEP beach cleanups held throughout the state. A summary from 2018 is provided below. See COASTSWEEP - Summaries of Annual Cleanups for other years. For a full list of the information available on the COASTSWEEP website, see Overview and Index.

2018 Stats

During COASTSWEEP 2018, more than 3,240 volunteers removed more than 7 tons of trash from 97 sites. As with past years, cigarette butts were the most common find (34,401 total), followed by plastic pieces (21,405). In addition, 32,886 other plastic items—including bags, bottles and their caps, straws, utensils, food containers, coffee lids, 6-pack holders, cigar tips, strapping bands, and fishing line—were removed from Bay State beaches. And it wouldn’t be a COASTSWEEP without unusual and interesting discoveries. Some of this year’s strangest include: a decaying catamaran, whip, dental retainer, brass knuckles, angel lawn ornament, weed whacker, oxygen tank, and a metal sign on post from "Land Trust of New Brunswick." We hope you will join us in 2019 to help keep marine debris from entering the world’s oceans. You never know what you might find!

Top 10 for 2018

Rank Debris Item Amount
1 Cigarette Butts 34,401
2 Plastic Pieces 21,405
3 Food Wrappers 9,199
4 Foam Pieces 8,362
5 Glass Pieces 8,261
6 Plastic Bottle Caps 8,083
7 Plastic Beverage Bottles 4,382
8 Straws/Stirrers 3,664
9 Other Plastic Foam Packaging 3,337
10 Rope 3,118

For complete cleanup results, please see the COASTSWEEP 2018 data sheet (PDF, 135 KB). For more data, see the Summaries of Annual Cleanups, which links to an overview and summary statistics from past years. More on Marine Debris gives additional details on the types, sources, and impacts of marine debris.

Thank you to the many volunteers who make COASTSWEEP a success!

COASTSWEEP 2018 Collage

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